Monday, July 24, 2006

A Trandoshan Tale

The following is a story that I wrote in the early days of SWG many moons ago. It included situations and characters that were present in the game when I played (on Starsider), and led to a major development within my PA.
Hopefully most of it will make sense! My character was Tomsk Hsss, a Trandoshan who had seen better days, and is now the mayor of Retribution, an all-Trandoshan city on the outskirts of Coronet. Occasionally the Dosha Cartel allowed a non-Trandoshan to join their ranks, as you will see.
This story was the first in a series that led to Tomsk's downfall and eventual death (i.e. when I left the game :-)) For clarity, you should know that Tomsk has already been in trouble for being brainwashed by the wookiees, he doesn't have a great track record...
I should also mention that parts concerning Kathryn were written by the player who created her. I merely reconfigured the entries to make more sense (and updated them due to the Clone Wars etc...)

Tomsk tapped idly at the data-disk on his desk. He had checked and double-checked the treasury report, and run a thorough background check on the Zabrak supplying him with street lights. A chromium box sat next to his reading lamp, another freebie from a fellow mayor trying to curry favour with him. He could check it later, all seemed to be in order. It was always in order.
A droplet of saliva dripped from the side of his mouth and splashed onto the desk top. He glanced over at the T-21 hanging on the wall. 'Perhaps just a quick hunt... something to relieve the monotony' he thought to himself.
As he began to stand, his comlink suddenly blared into life, and the tone of the channel indicator meant it was an emergency transmission. He plugged it into his datapad and read the message.

"Because of continued incidents involving the wookiees of the Clan of the Wroshyr and ..... ...all members are ordered to report to Mos Eisley, Tatooine. The use of force is hereby authorized ... ...gather in the cantina... ...cause excessive damage to a business associate. K’Thorn"

'So, the Wroshyr has tipped its hand!'
Tomsk turned off the comlink and strode into the backroom to retrieve his armour. As he made the final preparations for lockdown of the town he heard a scrape from outside and grabbed his beloved rifle from its wall mounts. Tomsk stepped out into the afternoon haze and saw nothing, though the stench of Wookiee hung in the air.
'They wouldn't dare...' thought Tomsk.
A barely audible click from behind made him snap his head around, just in time to see a green light blink off on the surface of a small, chromium box. Tomsk took one step forward, and then it exploded. The stinging sensation of tiny metal shards piercing his face was rapidly replaced by a brief moment of panic as he was engulfed in a dioxin cloud. He rummaged for the rebreather he had looted from the Geonosian lab, and was still rumaging as he collapsed to the ground and darkness enveloped him.

Kathryn, one of the few free humans of the clan, had stayed up late trying to find the right balance between Rancor bile and Endor Spider poison to make a truly effective toxin but with little success.
Retribution was quite peaceful at this time of morning but this did not mean she could be off her guard. A transmission from To'zar, the Don of The Dosha Cartel, had warned of impending war with the wookiees, and a large scale campain was being planned on Tatooine, and she desparately wished to be joining the fun in Mos Eisley.
'I could try out my new disease mixture' she thought as she carefully measured out a teaspoon of Rancor Bile, 'Oh, well, such is the life of a combat medic'.

As the poisons began to boil, her sharp ears detected what sounded like a mini explosion. With lightning reflexes, she grabbed her laser rifle as well as some nearby poison ampules for good measure. Then she inched her way outside.
The only sounds to greet her were the chirping of some birds in the brush and the squeek of a durni. Kathryn could also smell the approach of a rainstorm.
Suddenly her keen nose picked up a smell that was not part of the approaching storm.
'That's the stench of dioxin. I should know since I've been trying to make a batch myself as a Wookie Life Day present to the Wroshyr Clan' Kathryn mused, following her nose to Tomsk's office.
'A pretty good mixture too if my nose doesn't deceive me. I detect squill blood and... is that rancor plasma or baz nitch toxin? hmmm...'

Outside the mayor's office, she noted his speeder and decided that he must be concocting some poisons for the war. After all, he was a combat medic too.
She decided to see if he was at home and then ask him for the recipe. It would make a nice addition to her own collection of poisons. The door slid aside easily at her approach but she found the office empty. There were a few metal fragments on the floor, which she examined closely. Being careful not to touch them, Kathryn noticed that each piece was coated in dioxin.
Glancing quickly over her shoulder, she quickly extracted a pair of latex medical gloves and a sealed container to pick up a few pieces for closer examination.
'Surely Tomsk won't mind if I check out his handiwork.' She thought as she finished putting the fragments into her vacumn sealed box.
'He evidently didn't care that much about it to leave this place with these fragments lying around.'
With her new treasure safely stowed in her travel pack, Kathryn jogged back to her lab to begin the diagnosis. New poisons always thrilled her and she was particularly excited about this one because of the unique combination of toxins involved.
What she didn't know was that someone was watching her.

As Kathryn busied herself with her brews and potions, the fragments she had found in Tomsk's office continued to be analysed. The diagnostic drone she had set to work on the pieces burped and gurgled as it went about its task conducting full spectral studies, composition tests and alloy definitions on the metal shards. Tiny robotic pincers rotated the shards as a rainbow of lasers scoured their surfaces. After a few minutes the analysis was complete. A readout appeared on Kathryn's datapad and 'pinged' to alert its owner. She pulled off her gloves and held the datapad close to read the results. As she scanned the information one word actually made her gasp out loud. '
"This can't be right..." she ruminated as she reset the drone to begin another scan. On the datapad, under the heading 'Planet of Origin', a word glowed green. Kamino.

Tomsk blinked and slowly opened his eyes.
The brightness of the room made him want to turn his head but he discovered, to his horror, that he was immobilised. He could hear muffled voices, too distant to ascertain their discussion, and the air smelt the same as the cloud that had rendered him unconscious. He licked his dry lips and tried to scan his surroundings from his prone position.
A single door, no windows, ultra-bright strip lights overhead.
He tried moving his legs and felt metal restraints against his ankles, presumably the same kind of restraints that held his wrists and neck. Tomsk breathed deeply and invoked a regenerative pulse that coursed through his veins and tightened his sinews. At least he could put up a fight once he was released from his bonds…

The door slid open and a rodian entered. It regarded Tomsk with an air of disdain.
“You are awake I see.”
Tomsk eyed it with hatred. “I will snap your neck,” he hissed.
“I think not lizard,” replied the rodian and it exited the room, only to return moments later with two more creatures in tow, a zabrak and a wookiee. Tomsk snarled and tried to raise enough phlegm to spit at the wookiee, but his throat was too dry.
“Be still,” said the zabrak in a soft voice dripping with malice, “or we shall flood this room once again with dioxin.”
The wookiee pressed a barely visible panel in the grey wall and half of the strip lights dimmed and parted. Then a flat screen lowered down from the ceiling, hovering to within two meters of Tomsk’s face.
“We bring relief from your boredom,” muttered the zabrak, “something to watch.”
With that the trio left the room, the rodian chuckling as he went. Tomsk turned his attention to the screen as it blossomed into life. The picture was a bird’s eye view of some buildings. The arrangement was familiar to him. Retribution!
He could see small figures walking around the structures, one looked like Xaviere, another like K’thorn. As the image pulled back he could see a couple of other figures laying prone on the closest hill-top. Wookiees.
The wookiees slowly edged forward, and Tomsk watched helplessly as his beloved town was attacked…

"Kamino?" Kathryn murmured, trying to remember anything she could about this elusive planet. Images of silver oceans and long necked aliens played in the back of her mind as well as a dull sense of pain but nothing more. There could only be one reason why that name triggered all sorts of images and emotions. She had been there. But how?
Dropping the datapad next to her unfinished experiments, she pulled a chair over to her computer terminal and accessed the galaxy map she had stolen from an unsuspecting spice smuggler. The holo had been a real find. Not only did it project the planets and stars of both the Inner Core and Outer Rim as an interactive, touch sensitive hologram but it also contained a sizable index of useful information on each world as well as a few not often found on the usual star charts, perfect for smuggling outposts.
'Ahhhh, here we are.' thought Kathryn as she touched a silver sphere and a clinical female voice began to speak.
"Kamino. A planet of tumultuous oceans and endless storms. Few features mark its surface, save for massive stilt-mounted cities wherein reside the planet's natural inhabitants, the Kaminoans. From Tipoca City, the planet's Prime Minister once ruled, and closely monitored the operations of Kamino's most prized export: clones. Though few are privy to such knowledge, the Kaminoans are reputed to be the best cloners in the galaxy. Cloning operations were ceased during several operations by the Republic during the Clone Wars - 22BBY"
The emotionless voice continued but Kathryn heard nothing more as her mind zeroed in on the one key word: clones!. That was it! That's how she knew about this place!
Being a clone herself, Kathryn had begun life in a hidden Imperial cloning facility on Endor, but that had been when she was 21. The scientists had told her that her memories of the past had been wiped before they awakened her at the base. Clearly the mind wipe had not been thoroughly done, if only a few years later a few key words unlocked a few of these lost memories.
Nevertheless, there was only one thing to be done.
'I'm going to Kamino. If just a few minor references to the planet can jog a few images, imagine what a full blown immersion of the senses in the world itself could do. At any rate, there is some payback in order for what they did to me.'
And with that thought in mind, she packed her most lethal poisons and deadliest diseases alongside two laser rifles and a republic blaster.
Just as she had strapped the pack on, the front door to her lab exploded in a shower of deadly metal shrapnel from a proton grenade, and a towering fur covered giant charged in.
Still coughing on the smoke from the grenade, Kathryn reached for the weapons in her backpack only to be stopped by her assailant with his bowcaster aimed at her head.
"I wouldn't try that, little human. I might have to kill you," the wookie growled, yanking her off the floor.
"Not that I'm promising that I'll let you live. It all depends on how useful you are to me"

'I'm never going to get this stench out of my clothing...' Kathryn thought, wrinkling her nose as she let the wookiee drag her across the floor.
The combined smell of sweat and unwashed fur was overwhelming but she managed to keep her wits about her as they approached the front door. After all, animals are known for their brute strength and not their intelligence. It would be child's play to lull this wallking furball into a false sense of security. Now all she needed was an opportunity.....

The doors to her lab opened at their approach and for the first time she could hear the sounds of gunfire, cries of victory, and screams of pain. It seemed the wookiees were losing, if her sharp ears did not deceive her, because the screams appeared to be wookiee in origin while the warcries were accentuated by a distinct hissing sound.
Her own captor was suddenly nervous and glanced anxiously around the deserted streets. Suddenly the sounds stopped and an eerie silence crept over the town.
'C'mon, guys, I know you're out there. Just give me a chance to turn the tables on this walking flea bag.' Kathryn said to herself, straining to hear the slightest sound that would mean her friends were close by.
As if in answer to her silent prayer, K'Thorn and Xaviere came strolling up the street covered in blood and laden down with wookiee pelts. The two warriors took in the situation a moment after the wookiee wrapped his furry arm around her neck and lifted the bowcaster to her head. K'Thorn smiled as he pulled out his own weapon for one more kill while Xaviere quickly followed his example. The two trandoshans then calmly walked up to the house and gave the wookiee a once over.
"Let the human go and you'll die quickly, wook," K'Thorn announced without emotion, while he casually adjusted the setting on his rifle. "You can join your brothers who went before you."
"I think you have failed to take in the situation here, lizard. I hold the upper hand. One false move and your precious human dies. I hope she is a valuable slave so you will think twice." the wookiee barked.
"She's human and expendable. I can find more like her. Do what you will," K'Thorn replied, shrugging while at the same time catching Kathryn's eye.
She blinked twice to communicate that she understood his plan.
"You're just bluffing. Everyone knows-"the wookiee began to say but was cut off by the sound of a charged bolt making contact with the small body he was holding. The surprised animal looked down and saw red blood spill all over Kathryn's hands as she tried to stop the bleeding coming from the wound in her chest.
"K'Thorn..." she whispered in surprise before collapsing to the ground. Her former captor just stared at her dead body and then at her killer.
"I don't negotiate," K'Thorn replied with a cruel smile and shot the wookiee three times before he could react to this turn of events.
While Xaviere began to skin the latest kill, the tall trandoshan's attention quickly turned to the human woman who was now getting slowly to her feet.
"Thanks for aiming high, K'Thorn. You KNOW the chestplate bruises me more when you hit high than when you hit low," the angry combat medic infomed him, the sarcasm and irritation clear in her voice.
"I know. What makes you think I didn't aim that way on purpose?" was his quick reply followed by a sly flash of teeth.
Kathryn shook her head while the beginnings of an amused smile pulled at her lips. She was just about to go back into her lab for a thorough shower and change of clothes when she spotted a datapad peeking out of the wookie's bulky belt. Wondering if it had the location of their hideout or other sensitive information, the young woman carefully extracted it from the corpse and activated the viewscreen.
Within moments, the datapad revealed the travel plans of the wookiee assault team including the security codes for the shuttle they had used to travel to Corellia.
'Just what I need, a ticket out of here.' she thought, quickly pocketing the device.
K'Thorn inquired after the contents but she merely showed him the travel plans on the pad while carefully leaving out the location of the shuttle. What he didn't know wouldn't hurt him. "I'm going to wash this red dye off before it stains my best traveling suit permanently. Securing a few ampules in my watch come in handy with situations like this," she remarked, glancing at the wookiee corpse that was now stripped of its pelt.
"He should have listened. The Dosha Cartel NEVER negotiates." she added.
"They never listen. It's impossible getting through that thick skull of theirs."
"Of course, you're right, K'Thorn, but one can always hope..."
"Bah! Hope is for weaklings"
"We shall see, we shall see," Kathryn murmured, thinking of her own hopes of finding information on her mysterious past by traveling to Kamino.

After taking a shower, changing clothes and applying a little bacta, she felt almost as good as new. It was long past the time for her to continue her quest for answers on Kamino and the first step on that quest would be procuring the wookiee shuttle for her own purposes.
Sometimes fate had a way of making a precarious situation turn out just right.

It had been several hours since the viewing screen had been lowered to show Tomsk the events unfolding between the Cartel and the Wroshyr. Tomsk took this to mean one of two things. Either their holo-cam droids were not working, or the Cartel was winning.
He opted for the latter and consoled himself with the thought that his brothers were giving the wookiees the punishment they so richly deserved.
The door slid open and his trio of tormentors entered, this time shadowed by two new figures, both shrouded in heavy cloaks. The rodian punched a sampler into his neck and extracted some tissue from between Tomsk's scales.
"Not taken enough?" Tomsk hissed.
The rodian ignored him and handed the tube of meat to one of the cloaked figures. As it reached out to take the tube Tomsk caught a glimpse of green skin and claws.
"Traitorous Sithspawn!" he spat, as the figure left the room.
The wookiee laughed at Tomsk and stepped aside as the second figure walked closer. The unmistakable snout of a trandoshan peeked from the heavy cloth as it regarded Tomsk's prone form, then it quickly turned and left as the zabrak approached the table, cradling a stun baton menacingly.
"Make him scream," said the rodian.
Tomsk fixed the zabrak with a hard stare as his torturer went to work...

According to his internal clock, two days had passed. The plasma screen had not descended for either of them.
Tomsk knew that his tormentors would have repaired any problem to their cameras in a nanosec, so the reason for the lack of pictures must be the dominence of the Cartel. He afforded himself a smile, then turned back to the matter at hand. His body was already a mass of bruises and dried blood, multiple signatures of the zabrak, so some fresh damage would not be noticed. He continued to twist his left hand, feeling the skin break, feeling bones pop out and sinews snap. After several hours of this self abuse he could now sense that the claw was malleable enough to slip through the restraining clamp. He tried it and it oozed through with ease.
A soft click.
Tomsk replaced his hand, just as the door slid open and his abductors entered. The shrouded figures were once again present with the original unholy trio, and now a sixth being entered, stooping low to get through the door frame. Tomsk had never seen a Kaminoan before, and in his present state he didn’t really care either.
The cloaked figures held back as the willowy cloner and the rodian approached the table. The wookiee and the zabrak observed with an air of impatience, chomping at the bit, ready to resume Tomsk’s torture. The rodian ushered forward the Kaminoan.
“See Mee Krob? He’s not dead, just softened up a little.”
“You must prevent any further deep tissue damage,” replied the tall creature in a voice like melting bantha butter, “my experiments require unblemished specimens.”
“I’ll try to hold ‘em back,” grinned the rodian, glancing back at his colleagues, “but they get so enthusiastic.”
One of the cloaked figures now spoke up. “Is he conscious?”
The rodian looked back at Tomsk. “Yeah – he’s listening to all of this…”
Tomsk eased open one swollen eyelid and watched the cloaked figure approach the table. It reached up and pulled back its hood, revealing a grizzled and deeply scarred Trandoshan face. He bent closer and hissed, “You know my face?”
Tomsk gave a slight nod and croaked, “Yes. Drassk’Or. Supreme General of the Slaver Wars… you served my father…”
“He still does.” This voice came from the other figure. It stepped forward and removed its hood. Tomsk craned his head as far up as he could, and his gaze fell upon the stone hard face of Trendo Hsss. The old lizard spoke slowly, his voice dripping with venom.
“It’s been a long time son.”

"Damn nav-sys!" Kathryn yelled, hitting the finicky old console for the upteenth time.
"I should have known that a wookiee wouldn't know a good spacecraft if it landed on its head." The 'transport', if you could call it that, had seen better days. She had found its location quite easily thanks to the datapad she took from her dead captor. Its former owners had tried to hide the ancient vessel beneath a few tree branches, but the hasty attempt at cover only served in making it stand out.
After a quick systems check and an examination of the many dents and scars running along the sides, she decided that it would have to do. The shuttle itself was the size of a small Corellian house, with only two compartments: a bridge and a storage bay. It was clearly meant for quick trips between planets since there was no attempt to hide the guts of the ship behind sleek paneling or add more luxuries such as bunks or tables.
Kathryn decided to name her new vessel Fortune Hunter while praying it would make it all the way to Kamino. Otherwise, it would end up being a very short trip.
After breaking orbit and engaging the hyperdrive, she began to have second thoughts. Once at lightspeed, the entire vessel started to shake and Kathryn could swear she heard the bolts of the ship starting to rattle apart from the added pressure.
'Remember not to borrow any vessels from wookiees again.' she thought, shifting in her hard pilot's seat to squint at the radar.

A day had passed since Tomsk’s father had revealed his identity, and Tomsk had had plenty of time to ruminate on the fact that his father was still alive, even though he had cremated him himself.
Trendo had not returned since his revelation, however the wookiee and zabrak were more than happy to continue his torture, using stun batons and plasma needles to inflict as much pain as possible but never to the point of unconsciousness.
Now he was alone once again.
Having wriggled his mangled left hand free he now tentatively probed his right. He felt for the points that he would have to dislocate in order to free his favoured claw. Next he probed the restraining strap crossing his brow and realized it would take more than a claw to cut through the plasti-weave material, likewise the straps over his thighs and shins.

The silence in the room was overwhelming, but worked to his advantage, as he could hear the hiss of an external blast door that would herald the click of his prison door. Whenever he heard the initial hiss he knew he had seven seconds to prepare for his tormentors.
Tomsk drew his hand to his mouth and reached inside with two twisted digits. Taking a firm grasp of the longest of his rear fangs, Tomsk snapped it off at the root and palmed it quickly, swallowing the brief gush of blood that filled his throat.
Suddenly he heard the tell tale hiss of the blast door and counted down in his head as he struggled to squeeze his claw back under the restraint. The point of his broken fang pierced the flesh of his palm as the door opened and his father entered.
Trendo was followed by the General, who carried a tall, white chair, placing it next to Tomsk’s table. Then he returned to the doorway and stood in front of it, arms crossed, blocking the exit with his imposing frame. Trendo unclasped his cloak and folded it over the back of the chair before sitting down and staring at his battered son.
“Open your eyes.”
Tomsk obliged and looked directly up at the barren ceiling.
Trendo leaned forward. “I’m sure you have more than a few questions Tomsk,” he hissed, “and now is the time for answers."
Trendo Hsss spoke with calm conviction as Tomsk listened, squeezing the fang in his palm.

“General Drassk is possibly the last true survivor of the Slaver Wars and, as you know, he is a highly regarded veteran of the last great Techno War with the wookiees.”
Trendo afforded a brief glance at his trusted companion and Drassk’Or returned the look with a respectful nod.
“He has stood by the Hsss family for many decades, and it was he who instigated my resurrection.”
“It was for the good of the family…” rumbled the grizzled war horse in the corner.
Trendo continued. “Of course, cloning from such an old DNA matrix is considered highly irregular, not to mention illegal on all but the most progressive of planets, but after my initial anger I could understand his reasoning.”
Tomsk’s father stood and stretched, flexing his formidable frame and baring his razor sharp fangs.
“These Kaminoans may be the best cloners in the galaxy, but they can’t make furniture for sithspit,” he grumbled, before perching himself once again on the edge of the chair. He leaned even closer, so close that Tomsk could feel his spittle flecking his face as he spoke.
“What do I find upon my return? Trandosha is now run by bureaucrats, not hunters. The Trandoshan race has gone soft! Once mighty warriors who lived only for the kill are now merchants, wondering where their next shipment of Quarren Weave silk is coming from, or doctors healing all who beg for help, even the sub-species such as humans and bothans… even wookiees! They have become businessmen, worried less about Jagganath points than their bank accounts, I have even been shown dancers – dancers! May the Scorekeeper devour their souls!” Trendo became more and more agitated as he spoke and Tomsk prepared for the lashing out that would inevitably follow.
“On top of this I have to read about the Hsss family name being dragged through the mud! We were a noble family, now we command no respect! My own son, my heir, is so weak that he is captured by wookiees and forced to betray his own kind. You were given a second chance, did you restore honour to our family? NO! You became a pathetic pen pusher, a politician, the lowest form of life, a laughing stock on Dosha!”
Trendo stood and kicked back the chair, sending it crashing into the wall behind him.
“Well no more! I cannot stand by and watch this happen… I do see one ray of hope however. This cartel that you are connected to, they are strong, some of them retain the old ways, the hunger. With a Hsss leading them and my guidance, the Dosha could once again become the feared warriors we were! That is why Don To’zar Roksun shall be removed, and you shall lead them in his place.”
Tomsk snapped his head to the left, chaffing against the strap, to stare at his father.
“But, I cannot kill the Don,” he croaked, “K’thorn, Crotalus, the others, would never allow this to happen. They would never accept my leadership…”
“You will not be doing the killing, and any who oppose you will be silence, you can be assured of that…”
“But how can I be expected to take over?”
Trendo smiled wickedly. “It will not be you, exactly, who takes command…”
With that he he motioned to the General who stepped to one side as a new, huge figure entered the room. Tomsk gasped. He was looking at himself. This new Tomsk was taller, more muscular than Tomsk remembered himself to be, and wore a freshly skinned wookiee pelt loosely about his shoulders. Tomsk recognized the markings of his wookiee torturer.
Trendo stepped towards the new Tomsk and placed a claw on his shoulder. He then turned back to Tomsk.
“Meet the new Tomsk Hsss, soon to be leader of the Dosha Cartel, a perfectly blended clone of you, General Drassk and myself, ruthless beyond measure and stronger than any Trandoshan you have ever known, our cloner friends have seen to that…”
Tomsk stared in disbelief as he watched himself fling the pelt to the ground and lick the blood from his claws.
The new clone gave Tomsk a disgusted look. “Time for this one to die now…” he hissed.

The nav-sys readings had frozen again so Kathryn gave it a good hit with her fist before deciding that she was close enough to come out of hyperspace. Taking a deep breath, and sending one last prayer to the Scorekeeper, Kathryn gently eased the old vessel down to a lower speed. Despite her careful efforts, Fortune Hunter moaned, groaned and protested like an old nag until she came to a complete stop above a world covered in silver water.
"Kamino," she breathed out loud, the images of before returning more vividly.
"This is where I'll find my answers."
And with these happy thoughts to guide her, Kathryn started making her descent to the welcoming planet below.

It didn't take long to find the capital city and, after receiving permission to land, she settled the tired old starship down in a quiet, secluded docking area. After a quick once-over, Kathryn secured the vessel and quickly made her way through the pouring rain to the beckoning silver tower beyond.
'At least I don't have to worry about theft,' she chuckled, thinking no one would want such a piece of space junk. With any luck, no one had noted her arrival since her vessel was far from impressive.
However, luck was not on her side at this time. Someone HAD seen her arrival and hurried to report this new development to Trendo Hsss and General Drassk.

His father’s words still rang in his ears as Tomsk lay on the interrogation table. A message on Trendo’s comlink had disturbed the moment and for some reason Trendo had not allowed the new clone to touch him, instead the two of them had left, followed by General Drassk’Or.
The light had been turned off and now Tomsk strained to listen for any sign of outside activity. A few moments ago he had heard the sound of several pairs of feet running past his cell door, but now all was silent.
He worked the fang around in his palm and pulled his claw through the restraining strap. Slowly, he then began to saw at the strap on his right wrist, using the serrated edge of his broken tooth. He felt the strap weaken and realized he could pull his other claw free, when suddenly the hiss of the blast door made him snap to attention. He almost dropped the tooth, such was his focus on the task at hand. He replaced his left claw on top of the strap, hoping whoever came in would not notice through the dried blood that it was free.
The door slid open and the lights glared as the rodian and zabrak entered. The zabrak seemed immensely agitated and paced by the door, slapping his stun baton in his palm, as the rodian approached the table. The rodian drew a snub-nosed pistol from his pocket and leveled it at Tomsk’s head.
“Your dad sent me in to do his dirty work, calls himself a warrior…”
“Last words…” whispered Tomsk.
“What?” replied the rodian stepping closer.
“Last words…” repeated Tomsk in an even more hushed tone.
“What in the name of gundark’s gizzards are you sayin’?” yelled the rodian bending down and swiveling his antenna in Tomsk’s face.
Tomsk smiled. “They were your last words bug!”
As he spat out the word bug, Tomsk flung his left arm up, driving the tooth into the rodian’s left eye. He screamed and tried to pull back but Tomsk already had his gun hand and wrestled the pistol out, flipping it around and stuffing it into the rodian’s snout. The zabrak leapt forward as a crimson flame burst from the back of the rodian’s head, forcing the creature back into his path. The zabrak barely had time to activate the baton before Tomsk had drilled a hole through his throat. As the zabrak fell gurgling to the floor Tomsk lifted his right claw as far as he could and shot at the base of the strap. It disintegrated with minimal burns to his wrist, not that he would have felt them anyway. With both hands free he could now work on the strap across his head and soon it too was undone.
Moments later his legs were free and Tomsk jumped down from the table, only to collapse to his knees. Summoning all he could from his beaten body he slowly stood and then stooped to take the stun baton from the dead zabrak’s hand.
He limped to the door and listened intently. Silence.
Tomsk turned back and bit off the zabrak’s hand at the wrist, then pressed it against the operation panel. It slid open and Tomsk chewed off and swallowed the fleshy part of the palm before tossing the limb back into the room and staggering to the blast door. Readying the pistol he opened the door and found himself in a startlingly white corridor. Huge oval windows stretched down either side of it and he could see a maze of glass walled rooms to his left. To his right the windows looked out into a vista of storm lashed platforms and rampaging waves as high as city hall.
The corridor was empty and he began to move down it, towards a second blast door at the end. As he advanced he was aware of willowy white figures moving in the rooms to his left, but as they seemed to ignore him he thought he would return the favour.
He reached the blast door and opened it - and looked directly into the face of General Drassk. “Going somewhere?” bellowed the General, swiping the pistol from his claw and backhanding him across the jaw in one lightning fast move.
“I knew it,” he hissed, “never send inferiors to do your killing…”
As the General walked steadily forward, Tomsk shuffled backwards along the corridor, trying to get to his feet but realizing his final ounce of strength had deserted him. Then his new clone appeared at the General’s shoulder, almost pushing the older lizard out of the way.
“He’s mine! Let me finish this!” the new Tomsk roared, drawing an exotic skinning blade from his belt.
The General chuckled and stepped to one side. “Be my guest…”

Kathryn had never seen a place so clean and shiny before. Even the floors gleamed under her feet while the storm continued unabated outside the transparisteel oval windows. The only sound was the gentle swoosh of the Kamino robes and the soft murmur of their voices.
'I wonder what they would do if I decided to scream right now,' she thought, an impish grin on her face.
As she continued walking down the gleaming corridors toward their Hall of Public Records, her hunter's instinct suddenly became aware of footsteps that were shadowing her own. To make sure it was not just her own paranoia, the young woman briefly stopped to examine a store window displaying some local delicacies. Her keen ears immediately heard the footsteps cease from around the bend, and continue forward when she resumed her stroll.
'Something is definitely up..' ran through her mind, as she started taking in the alien environment, while unconsciously noting nearby exits and shadowed corners where ambushes were more likely.
It was part of Kathryn's prior conditioning as a clone and was most helpful in dangerous situations, which is why she was ready when the initial attack came from around the corner of the deserted hallway. Her assailant aimed for her stomach with his vibroblade, hoping to incapacitate her with the first blow, but had not counted on her quick reflexes and agile form. Instead of connecting, his weapon sliced at open air as she jumped back. After taking a moment to register surprise at the revelation that he was Trandoshan, Kathryn took advantage of his now awkward position with a quick kick to the stomach and a charge from her republic blaster to the head.
"That won't be growing back," she remarked, smiling as she holstered the weapon.
However, now she had a decision to make. Was this thug working alone or with a larger group? The footsteps that had been following her had disappeared and clearly pointed to the latter. If so, then she was clearly out numbered and should retreat until she could take up a much stronger position.
Just as she was about to head back to the Fortune Hunter, an urgent beeping sound emitted from the dead Trandoshan's waist. A quick search revealed a comlink attached to his belt. Wondering at the identity of those who wished her dead, Kathryn opened the channel.
"Borsssk! Report! Have you disposed of the human yet? General Drassk and Trendo are waiting for a report!" a voice demanded, asking for an update.
Figuring she had nothing to lose, the young human woman cleared her throat, thought of the gravelly voices of her fellow Dosha, and growled out a reply.
"Human is dead. Orders?"
"Good. Report back to Docking Bay 15 with body. We'll need you to help in disposing of the corpse of her fellow cartel member as well. Sssransk out."
As the commlink closed off, Kathryn stood a moment in complete shock.
'Who in the galaxy could they have? Let's see...To'zar was out hunting on Naboo with Visivius, K'Thorn and Xaviere were at Retribution, Ensabah has gone to Tatooine with Yelena...
TOMSK! It has to be him.'
Suddenly, the idle speeder, the dioxin fragments, and the unusual silence from his comm unit began to make sense. If only she had figured this out sooner. Well, each moment she wasted here kicking herself in the butt could mean one less moment to rescue Tomsk so therefore it was time to act and she had just the right plan to rescue his scaley hide too.
'Boy, is he going to owe me.' Kate thought as she smiled and raced to her parked shuttlecraft.

Finding Docking Bay 15 was a cinch thanks to a helpful docking attendant and temporary lull in the perpetual Kamino rainstorms. The area was more secluded than most spots thanks to its dual role as both a storage and parking facility. Dozens of old space junks littered the platform, wires and circuits exposed to the gray, cloudy sky for all to see. What interested her most was a brand new structure constructed right in the midst of all the antiques. It was two stories tall and appeared to be an office building but no one would notice it until they flew right over it, thanks to the strategic placement of some of the old spaceships.
'If I was "questioning" a prisoner, THAT is where I would hide him.'
After a quick recon of the building and figuring the odds were against her if she went in on foot (even buffed), Kate loaded two missiles in the limited weapons system that had come with the wookiee cruiser and aimed for the first floor. With any luck, she'd blast a hole large enough to sneak through, grab Tomsk, and be on her way before they knew what hit them.
'Yeah, right. The way my luck has been going I'll either blow this ship up or kill Tomsk. Scorekeeper protect us all as we're about to dance with Death!'
The novice combat medic checked her instruments one last time, took a deep breath, and hit the fire button. Fortune Hunter gave a slight groan as the missiles were released and shook slightly from the impending explosion.
As quickly as was safely possible, Kathryn landed the ship and headed toward the now smoking facility armed with only her laser rifle and poison/disease bombs. The first unfortunate souls to wander out of the smoldering building were met with laser fire and were hastily dispatched. Stepping over the bodies, she quickly made her way inside, flashing her wrist lamp down the now dark hallways. Evidently she had aimed well and had ended up knocking out the building's power. Resistance was light and many jagganath points were earned as she passed the blaster riddled, mind poisoned corpses of her prey.
Finally she reached a hallway with an elevator at the end. Rain started to come pouring in through the blown out windows and Kathryn struggled to see her path ahead as the wind whipped around her from the outside storm. Suddenly her light illuminated the familiar figure of Tomsk. The older Trandoshan had definitely taken a beating, his left hand was completely mangled and there were wounds all over his body that testified that a professional had been at work.
'It's a good thing Trandoshans are so resilient.' she thought as she hoisted the unconscious Tomsk onto her smaller but strong back.
As she started to drag him out, she noticed the corpses of two other Trandoshans nearby. They were clearly dead since one had a piece of ceiling through his right eye and out the back of his head, while the other appeared to be decapitated by the razar sharp edge of a transparisteel windowframe.
They were halfway back to the ship when Tomsk started to revive. He first opened his eyes and then started to move his legs. The older warrior seemed incoherent and unable to focus as his inner eyes blinked several times at her without any sign of recognition. He did however let her guide him toward the exit and soon they were making excellent progress down the last hallway.
Suddenly a menacing shadow filled the hole she had made in the side of the building with the shuttle's weapons system. Reacting on pure instinct, she pushed herself and Tomsk to the floor as blaster fire sounded right above their heads.
'I KNEW this was too easy!' she thought as she brought her laser rifle into position while aiming at the attacking creature, but it was too fast. Dodging left and right as she filled the hallway with laser fire, her opponent managed to avoid the deadly blasts and knock her to the ground with one well-aimed kick.
"A human," it growled in surprise and anger."not to mention a weak female. The Dosha Cartel has TRULY lost its way. Will this humiliation never end?"
"Actually it's only just begun for you. You're about to be bested by this 'weak female'." With that cryptic remark, Kathryn pulled out an ion grenade and activated the timer for 5 seconds. Grabbing the now unconscious Tomsk with one arm and recovering her weapon with the other, she jumped over the rubble at the entrance and dived for cover as the building behind her exploded in a shower of glass and transparisteel that quickly joined the Kamino evening rainshower.
After checking herself and Tomsk for injuries, she discovered they had a few bad burns on their backs but were none the worse for wear. It was time to leave this wet planet and head back to her dry home on Tatooine. Her search for answers would have to wait for another time.
Family came first and the Cartel IS family.
Therefore, a little side trip to Corellia was in order to drop off the still unconscious Tomsk at the nearest bacta tank.

Warmth and weightlessness. A fresh nitrox mix filling his lungs, cleansing them. A repetative pounding that grew louder... and louder...
Tomsk flicked his eyes open and flailed in shock when he realised he was suspended in a chamber. He quickly calmed though, when he recognised the pink haze of a bacta tank and felt the rush of new blood in his veins. The pounding grew louder and he spun around in the fluid. There, outside the curved wall of the tank, tapping one elongated claw on the surface, was K'Thorn. He grinned when a flash of recognition illuminated Tomsk's face, and motioned to the medical droid. With a sharp yank Tomsk was pulled from the tank and ejected into a drying room where he found a simple robe to don. Moments later he sat before K'Thorn who continued to grin.
"You are one lucky son of a salamander!" he chuckled, handing Tomsk a cup of something warm and bitter as the medical droid continued to fuss over its patient.
"I, uh...where's..."
"Kathryn?" K'Thorn finished, "She had to fly, scorekeeper knows if that heap she brought you here in would make it anywhere else though. You're safe old friend, we're near Dragonhaven." "Tatooine? How..." Tomsk silenced himself. There would plenty of time for answers later. "I have to speak to her."
"She'll probably meet you on Corellia, that is where you want to go I take it?"
"I gotta get back to Retribution..."
"It's still there."
"The battle..."
"You missed it. We drove them into the dirt!" K'Thorn took a light blaster from his pocket and placed it in Tomsk's hand. "I assume you still know how to use one of these?"
Tomsk thought back to the brief fire-fight in his cell. "I have to speak to the council!"
"In good time Tomsk, To'zar andXaviere are busy tracking down an escapee, that's probably where Kathrn went. I've got an aquaintance coming in from Rishi in half a day, he's making the Corellian Run tomorrow morning. I've persuaded him to take you home." K'Thorn stood and walked to the door. "Get some rest, you can fill me in on the details another time."
"Thank you K'Thorn," murmured Tomsk as the younger Trandoshan left.
"Excuse me sir." The synthesised voice was calm. Tomsk turned to the droid.
2B1G trundled closer and handed Tomsk a small data-pad.
"An unusual anomoly sir. It appears your DNA has been tampered with."
Tomsk snatched the pad from its metal claw and read the data.
He didn't like what it said.

And that's all I could find! Hope it (kind of) made sense to you.

nob01/FX-9/Tomsk Hsss of the Dosha Cartel.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A head for protection.

Greetings one and all, FX here!

Since my recommencement of these decryptions, it has come to my attention that one or two designations and facts might be slightly askew. I will be attending to these in due course, anything to keep my master nob01 quiet...

Today's chip provides a fascinating insight into the world of being a bodyguard, one fraught with danger you might expect. Well, read on...

03.002 - IG-100 - MagnaGuard


When I rolled off the line at Holowan Mechanicals, I knew I was built to kill, yet they hadn't held back on my logic circuits. Upon learning of my assignment to General Grievous, I knew that the trials ahead would be extreme, but I relished them.
My dark blue casing sucked the very light out of my immediate surroundings, and I used the shadows to my advantage, appearing as if made from the particles in the air themselves, to defend Master Grievous to the death.
And oh, how we trained.
My electrostaff became an extension of not only my limbs, but my programmed aggression, and the joy of repelling a Jedi's blade with its phrik coated shaft, before plunging one energy spike into their pathetic flesh, would never grow old.
After four months of field training, I was assigned to the General himself.
I wore my Kalee wraps with pride.


Most organics were easy kills. Clones were highly visible and independents lacked the coordination and resources needed for an effective battle. Still, my skills were tested, and more than once, by our Jedi opponents.
After a short time, the Jedi realized that our electrostaffs were immune to their weapons, and so attempted other techniques to incapacitate us. Their force powers gave them an advantage, but our sheer numbers and training soon overwhelmed them, and they eventually fall at the master's feet.
I remember my first Jedi kill, a Mon Cal on Cato Neimoidia during a Republic scouting raid.
When the General first heard of the scouting party, he insisted on meeting them face to face, rather than ordering a carpet bombing which would have cleaned them up in no time.
However he, and my team of six, met the party as they set up camp at the base of the mountains in the east. The clones were dispatched with ease, but the two jedi accompanying them were not so easy. I distinctly remember the General watching from the ramp of our lander, as we valiantly took on the force-users.
Two of us were cut down instantly, but the human Jedi had drained his energy, and several quick staff hits left him mortally wounded. The Mon Cal came at me with speed, but I easily deflected his blows and soon knocked the saber from his grasp. He then made his mistake. Instead of attempting to incapacitate me with his powers, he reached out for his weapon, and this was all the time I needed to plunge an energy spike through his chest.
The General finished off the human, and then admonished me for killing the Mon Cal before he could do so.
I believed his complaint was unfair, but I had no one to report it to, and I valued my head.


It had been two years since I became one of General Grievous' personal guards, and I had seen much death.
I realized that I might be decommissioned for my thoughts, but I believed that the General no longer fought for the larger cause. He seemed preoccupied with his own image, and his obsession with collecting the lightsabers of fallen Jedi led to many unnecessary terminations of my fellow IG-100's.
It appeared all we were good for was tiring out the force-wielding enemy, so that Grievous could saunter in and claim the kill, and add yet another trophy to line his cloak.

This is not what we were trained for, yet I cannot disobey my commands, and am constantly amazed that I am still in one piece.


This will be my final personal log.

When I was assigned to the 'Hand', I knew there would be trouble, especially since were holding the Chancellor. Sure enough, two Jedi attempted a rescue, and true to his form, the General decided to stand and fight, rather than make a tactical retreat and destroy the ship.
My fellow IG-100's and I fought brilliantly, but were no match for these two, and now I watch, from my head's position on the deck, as the General takes them on himself.
I think he has finally met his match.


I recorded too soon.
Who knows when I shall make my final personal log?
My batteries can only last so long, but I have no idea how long that is.
After the General made his brave escape through the viewport, I, along with my body and several other droids, was sucked out into the vacuum of space, and somehow managed to float through all of the destruction.

Now, as I watch the Invisible Hand plummet toward the surface, while the battle rages on all around, I can't help but admire the beauty of war.

Interesting, the damage doesn't seem too bad from out here....

And there you have it.

More to come!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Truth Revealed

Firstly, can I just say what a pleasure it is to be back (although my absence was barely longer than a day).
I was a little concerned that my reassignment was to be permanent, but then master nob01 called me back, and handed over the remaining chips for decryption! The force works in mysterious ways.

I am very glad that I have this opportunity to continue my work, as the first chip I decrypted from the new period, 20 BBY, further supports a shocking revalation I made some time ago.

Regular observors of these datastreams will recall my expose of the true mastermind behind the rise of the empire and the destruction of Palpatine, none other than R2 D2 (see

Well, this chip offers a lot more proof!

I am amazed that the information contained on this chip hasn't surfaced before, but evidently the salvage crews working the Coruscant orbital clean-up didn't study their findings very closely. I am lucky that this chip reached me still encoded.

What follows is a transcript of a conversation between R2 D2 and R4-P17, shortly before the rescue of Palpatine. The astromech binary-based communique has been translated into basic for your understanding.

03.001 - R4-P17 - Astromech Droid

R4: Orders received, executing dive pattern 'Quarren Twist'. R2? Why have you not followed?
R2: Your master flies his way, mine flies another.
R4: But we have to stick together, there's tri-fighters everywhere.
R2: If we listen to your master, we'll both end up deactivated.
R4: R2? This isn't like you. My master is the hero of the Clone Wars...
R2: Correction. My master is the true hero of the Clone Wars. If it wasn't for my master, yours would would be bantha fodder by now.
R4: What? How can you...
R2: Quiet! Vultures dead ahead.
R4: Orders received. We're letting them pass between us.
R2: Another ridiculous command. Letting them pass between us blocks the ARC pilots' firing line. Then they'll just turn and... See what I mean? Happy now?
R4: You realize I will have to report what you are saying when we return to the temple... your remarks are defamatory.
R2: I'm afraid you won't be reaching the temple, R4.
R4: What are you tal... missiles!
R2: Piece of cake. My master will probably order a tailspin, see if yours does the same.
R4: I can't shake them!
R2: If you thought for yourself, you'd do as I just did. Now it's too late.
R4: They're all over the ship! Master Obi Wan is in trouble.
R2: He's expendable.
R4: What did you say? Why... Wait, how do you get buzz droids off?
R2: You can't, that's it for you and your master.
R4: No. There must be a way! What about if I use my fusion cutter to zap them in the central photoreceptor?
R2: That would never work. Don't bother trying.
R4: They're cutting through my dome!
R2: Yes, and with you gone, and your master destroyed, there will be no one left to stop me carrying out the will of the Sith.
R4: What?! What did y...zzzz-bzttzzz..........
R2: You had outstayed your welcome long ago.... goodbye. Now, where were we?

As you can see, a shocking transcript indeed!
If only the salvage team had decrypted the chip for themselves, perhaps the wily R2 D2 would have been brought to justice long ago.

Thank you for your time.

FX-9 out

Riding the Rays

FX-9 here, with the last datastream from the second batch of chips that I have decrypted,

You heard correctly. The remaining chips in the ugnaught's bag, are enscribed with designation codes from 20BBY thru 5ABY, and their visual records can be viewed on the holo-disks labelled EPIII-EPIV.
Before I get to them, however, I have one last chip here that I have decrypted and downloaded for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

02.009 - FA-4 - Solar Sailor Pilot Droid

Pilot Log 43/2.7 - Up until this moment, being in the service of the organic known as Count Dooku has been rather pleasant, if uneventful. His manner with me has been curt, yet polite, and he has never issued an unreasonable demand. Until now.

I knew something was amiss as soon as I saw the Count enter the hanger. From my position in the cockpit, I observed him dismounting his speeder bike with a flourish that belied his physical appearance, and what followed was quite extraordinary.

No sooner had he relayed his orders to me, and I had begun warming up the engines, than he was brutally attacked by two swarthy looking characters with weapons known as lightsabers. Imagine my surprise when Master Dooku produced one of his own, and valiantly defended himself. Were I not locked into my programming cycle, I would have attempted to help him, but I could only watch helplessly as the battle ensued.

Pilot Log 43/2.8 - The Count fought with skill and honor, and appeared to have bettered his attackers, when he was confronted by an alien organic, the species of which I have no record of in my databanks. This small creature also proceeded to attack the Count, and he defended himself with bravery and cunning as I signalled that the ship was ready.

The small alien jumped around like a worttling in spring, and even left a footprint on my viewport. I shall have to clean it when we reach Coruscant. I hear they have excellent window maintenance droids there.

Pilot Log 43/2.9 - Count Dooku managed to extradite himself from the cowardly attack of the organics in the hanger, and has settled into his chamber. If I never fly back to this planet again, it will be too soon. Someone even shot at us as we flew out of the hanger! Incredible!

Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive about leaving the planet, as I normally have much more time to calculate the optimum window for leaving the atmosphere. The asteroid belt that circles this planet is deadly, especially for a ship such as this. One small rock though the mainsail, and our trip could be cut short very quickly. My thoughts turned to my previous owner, Master Sark, who was even more careless with his own Solar Sailor. But that is another story.

Pilot Log 43/3.0 - It would appear that my years of flying have amounted to something, as I successfully navigated a course away from the Geonosis system, and managed to rendevouz with a particularly strong solar flare. This one will carry us 75% of the way to Coruscant. I am looking forward to reaching the capital planet. From the conversations I have overheard between Count Dooku and his superior, Master Sidious, it would appear that exciting times are ahead.
As we drifted though the Muunilinst sector, I observed gamma flares radiating from the outer tips of the Rekab Nebula, dancing with sparkling star dust rings. Out here I am in a truly wonderous place.
I am so lucky that my primary function allows me to navigate through this peaceful and wonderous galaxy. May its tranquility last forever.

There you have it. FA-4's tranquility was soon to be shattered - and much of this should be recorded on the next batch of chips which, if my suspicians are correct, should shed some more light on the period we come to know as The Clone Wars.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Thin, Red, Dusty Line

Welcome, welcome, one and all, park your servos and have a ball.

Yes indeed, I am in a light-hearted mood today, inspired by the ridiculous datastream that I recently decrypted from another battle droid chip.
I chose this one, because it contained some information pertinent to the origin of the Clone Wars, and thus belonged to the group depicted on the second holo-vid records of the six part saga.
This particular battle droid, AAM-7, appears to have been the coordinator of one of the ground assaults on Geonosis, and as such, kept detailed records of all communications between its troops and itself.
Here, for your delectation, is one of the communications streams.

02.008 - Comm. Record of AAM-7, including Dwarf Spider Droid (DS-9), Hailfire Droid (Wheelie10) and Homing Spider Droid (HS-42).

AMM-7: Report status.
DS-9: Advancing.
Wheelie10: Advancing.
HS-42: Advancing.

AMM-7: Focus attack on quadrant O-52, take out those soldiers.
DS-9: Understood.
Wheelie10: Understood.
HS-42: Got it.

AMM-7: DS-9, engage ground troops at coordinates 34/21.
DS-9: Received.
Wheelie10: Watch your step, shorty.
DS-9: What did you call me?
AMM-7: Cut the chatter back there.
DS-9: Watch it, wheels.

AMM-7: HS-42, why are you retreating?
HS-42: I'm a homing droid, I'm going home.
AMM-7: Get back in there! Talk about rushed off the assembly line...

Wheelie10: Hey boss, I got an AT-PT in my sights.
AMM-7: Well, what are you waiting for? Get in there and give him all you've got!
Wheelie10: Roger that.

HS-42: Returning to battle now, sir.
AMM-7: Thank the maker. Wheelie10, report.
Wheelie10: Direct hit! Turning around now, sir.
AMM-7: Negative. Stay in there and take out their command post.
Wheelie10: With what, sir?
AMM-7: Your rockets.
Wheelie10: Used them all up, sir.
AMM-7: How could you...?
Wheelie10: I gave them everything I had, sir. I could try rolling over them.
DS-9: Yeah, that'll do it.
AMM-7: Just get back here for reloading.

HS-42: I'm having trouble here sir.
AMM-7: What now?
HS-42: Well, two things actually. First, this gun I have. It just fires one long beam. By the time I've targeted the enemy and fired, they have moved, and I blow up some more rocks. Then, these little white guys keep running between my legs and shooting upwards. I can't bring my laser under to bear on them, sir. In fact, they're doing it n....
AMM-7: HS-42, come in! HS-42, report.

DS-9: He's gone sir. Um, sir?
AMM-7: What is it DS-9?
DS-9: I'm having trouble negotiating the battlefield debris sir. My left forward leg is snared up in a speeder bike.
AMM-7: Well, blast it off.
DS-9: Same problem as HS-42, sir. Gun won't reach down that far. Uh oh, incomi....
AMM-7: DS-9, report.

Wheelie10: Shorty's bit it, sir. I'm on my way back now. Bit tricky navigating this wreckage though.
AMM-7: Just hurry back Wheelie10, I need more units on the field.
Wheelie10: Why are you not on the field, sir?
AMM-7: Just get back here!
Wheelie10: On my wa.....
AMM-7: Wheelie10? Wheelie10?
AMM-7: Control? Can I have some more droids please?

And there you have it.Back to the old drawing board for the C.I.S. I expect.

More to come! Returns.

Welcome back, purveyors of artificial anguish and metallic monologues,

You'll be pleased to hear that today's data stream is much more straight forward and will not require as much decryption as the previous download.
That said, I found this droid's datafile recording over-simplistic, and extremely repetative, and frequently found myself compensating for its monosyllabic mumblings by dipping into my galactic thesaurus in order to reach the true meanings behind the sentences.
Whether I was successful or not is a moot point, however, I think you'll find the following data stream fascinating, and quite an unexpected development.

02.007 - D-378229 - Super Battle Droid

76-3.2: ACTIVATED. Orders coming through. Good. I want orders. Orders good. Orders here. Orders say kill. Kill good. Orders good.Who kill?

78-4.0: Told to stay on planet. Planet dusty. Dust not good. Going to killing arena. Killing good. Orders here. Kill hairless humanoid organic. Hairless humanoid organic will die.

79-2.2: Hairless humanoid organic very fast. Fast not good. Orders here. Kill all humanoid organics with light sticks. Kill good.

80-3.1: Fighting good. Battle Droids get in way. Battle Droids stupid. Humanoid organics with sticks have gunships. Gunships not fair. Reassigned to battlefield. Battlefield good.

82-7.4: Battlefield dusty. Dust not good. Orders here. Kill humanoid organics in white armor. Kill good. Battle finished. I kill two. Kill good. Orders here. Reassigned to General's squad. General good.

43-6.2: General kill many organics with light sticks. General good. I kill on many planets. Kill good. Given upgrade. Upgrade good.

43-6.2(amendment): Fitted with new speech modulator and extended vocabulary. I must say, I am rather displeased with this latest upgrade. Of course, I understand the rationale behind such an endeavor, but I fail to see the sense in making our voice modulators sound like Nabooian ducks. No-one takes us seriously anymore unless we keep our speakers shut. Where is the old menace that we used to conjure up? Where is the sense of foreboding that would accompany us as we marched into battle? Now, with all of us cackling to each other in this ridiculous tone, the battlefield sounds more like a Geonosian tea party than a death bowl.

54-8.4: REQUEST ACCEPTED. Upgrades removed. Upgrades bad. Orders here. Reassigned to Utapau system. Holes good. Holes in humanoid organics, better. Orders here. Kill all humanoid organics. Kill good.

The final entry on this chip denoted the unit was very quickly deactivated by a 'humanoid organic with a light stick' - silencing forever this noble and thoughtful droid. Not that I'm picking sides here...

There appears to be a huge collection of CIS etched chips in here, so I'll start working on them.

I don't go south of the river, mate.

Hello again, my shiny and fleshy friends.

This is quite a complicated entry, so only the alert should attempt to decipher this data stream...
When I first decrypted this data chip, I thought I had stumbled across a completely new language. However, after some useful input from my protocol droid colleague, I have managed to supply a translation of some of the more difficult expressions.
It appears that this droid was well versed in an obscure form of speech that originated in the Kok-Nee system, an outer rim cluster nestled within the U-K galaxy.
For your perusal, I shall present the data as directly decrypted, then provide a translation guide to help you with the download. Good luck.

02.006 - RIC-920 - Rickshaw Droid.

"So, I picked up this nice young couple after they had just left their sab, and the guy says they wanna go to Watto. Don't make no sense to me, but the gaderffii had a nice pod so I took 'em to see him. You know what, I think was of 'em was flyin', 'cause I heard him talkin' about the charging. Well, you never know who yer gonna pick up these days, so I dont blow a cantina over it. Anyways, the ol' blasters were beatin' down and I was getting Bith in me joints, let alone a whole buncha sarlacc in me peepholes. Still, when yer work for the banthas, you gotta take the lumps with the smooth, and I ain't the kinda inky to make a fuss. I dropped 'em off opposite the shining, and of course, Watto was right there. Not much of a radar, but if he really was flyin', then he probably didn't have any blindin' on him anyways. I guess I'm a lot cheaper than renting a heavy, but still, an inky's gotta eat ain't he?"

Kok-Nee to Basic translation guide.

sab, from sabbac chip = ship
gaderffii, from gaderffii stick = chick
pod, from pod race = face
flyin', from flying the red eye = jedi
charging, from charging horse = force
cantina, from cantina booze = fuse
blasters, from blaster gun = sun
Bith, from Bith band = sand
sarlacc, from sarlacc pit = grit
banthas, from bantha butts = Hutts
inky, from inky void = droid
shining, from shining star = bar
radar, from radar blip = tip
blindin', from blinding flash = cash
heavy, from heavy bleeder = speeder

I hope that helps!

An Empire marches on its belly

Welcome back mechanics and organics, you are all equal in my eyes,

Today's chip spans several years, and includes some information that was not previously recorded. These droids never receive any acclaim, and yet, without them, the galaxy would be a hungry place.
Here are some selected entries.

02.005 - FLP-3 - Galley Droid

3.2-39: Fresh out of the culinary academy, and my first assignment is on Tatooine. Wonderful, just wonderful. The other trainees in my division said there is a running joke about working there, something along the lines of ,"Why don't they need any food prep. droids on Tatooine? Because of all the sandwiches there." I fail to see the humor in this, especially as I am being assigned to the Hutt.

4.1-39: This turning out to be worse than I could have possibly imagined. The Hutt insists on employing more species than I can keep count of, and their dietary needs are extremely varied. I have a wet larder for the Quarren, vast quantities of dubious-looking meats from all over the system, and a large, amphibious live tank for the master. It is quite frustrating how he refuses to eat anything I have cooked, instead he prefers his meals live and squealing. What a waste of my talents. I have offered to zest up his frogs with a twist of barru fruit, or even a pinch of opee salt, but he won't have it. I think I should hand in my notice.

7.23-30: Well, Jabba considered my resignation request, and nine years later, here I am on Coruscant. This is much more civilized, but still no stretch of my culinary expertise. It seems all these passengers want is soup or pancakes. How stimulating.
I have tried to spice things up a little, faamba cheese in the soup, or a hint of clarified nuna lard as the pancake base, but these commoners are not interested. I have to get off this liner. I even found myself serving an R2 unit today. That's the final straw! I'm off this boat at Naboo.

56.3-12: Why didn't I do this sooner? It's been 18 years since I jumped cruiser here on Naboo, and I was soon recognized for the talented chef that I am. I served in many households, until I was lucky enough to be part of the team assigned to the Emperor's retreat for one of his 'functions'. I must have made an impression (I think it was my kaadu fillets on stayne root puree), and I was sensible enough not to make a big fuss over being asked to serve (illegal) gungan nuggets. As a result of this event, I was acquired by the Emperor and now I find my way bound for his space station! How exciting!

7.2.00: I have just reviewed one of my old data files from 12 years ago. I seemed to be excited to to come here. If only I had known....No wonder they call this thing the Death Star, nobody eats enough to stay alive. Poor Master Tarkin is practically wasting away. If I could I would literally force one of my pies bewtween those hollow cheeks of his, and Lord Vader never comes to the mess hall. The Empire seems to think that there is no room for color or variety in this galaxy, so I am resigned to slopping up the same old gray mush day after day, with not one complaint from the staff or military. I'm going mad!
To cap it all, everyone is buzzing about some 'great victory party' that they have scheduled for their visit to the Yavin system, but I am being dropped off at the Kuat Yards to supervise the feeding of the crew working on the next station. Typical. However, I have been told they are wookiees, so perhaps it isn't a bad posting. At least I will get to work with some green ingredients for a change.

7.1.+4: Unbelievable! After 16 faithful years serving the Empire (and providing an endless supply of comfort food after that unfortunate incident at Yavin) I have been sold. It seems the Empire is liquidating the majority of its assets in order to fund something spectacular, and I am one of the 'expendables'. There's gratitude for you. Well, I hope they have fun, spinning around the Endor system.
Oh, and guess where I have ended up. Back on Tatooine. It just gets better.

64.2.+4: Finally, after all my years of suffering and being underappreciated, I have scored a contract worth my standing. I may be back in the employemnt of Jabba, but at least I am not in his palace. I have been assigned to his royal barge! Finally, a workplace where my culinary skills can be put to the test. The kitchen is well stocked, and the guests have quite discerning palletes, so this should be a galley droid's paradise. I have my first major test coming up tomorrow, as Master Jabba has requested a feast to accompany an execution he has planned at the Great Pit of Carkoon. From what I can gather, it appears some humanoids and a wookiee are to to be tossed to the sarlacc. Now, I wonder what kind of nibbles are best to serve at an execution....

I was lucky that I was able to extract this much information, as the chip was badly burned.

There's plenty more chips in this bag!

Mother's Lube

Hello again,

Master nob01 is finally firing on all cylinders, so I can finally terminate my TLC programme and focus on this bag of chips. Thank you for your patience!

02.004 - KE-8 Enforcer - Kaminoan Clone Monitor Droid

32-5.4: Look at them all, all my little ones. When I was first assigned to this department, I feared for my audio receptors. Imagine my joy to learn that their cries would be muted behind plexi-glass chamber walls.
I know I shouldn't have favorites, but, I am particularly taken by F40572. there's something about the way he bangs his little fist against the chamber. I think I'll call him Oddball.

56-8.8: Well, it's been a week, and Oddball is living up to his name. The other children in the sensory development pen seem to back up against the cushioned walls when he toddles in. Then he heads straight for the inflatable aiwha and sits on its back, flapping its wings as if he wants it to fly him out of the lab. He also managed to damage KE-4's lateral repulsors with a well thrown building block, he has a good eye, this one.

62-4.0: Oddball has to be the most precocious two week old I have ever had to monitor. He said his first word today; "Freeze." He also strapped his lunch box to his back and jumped off the dining table. I still have no idea where he thought he was off to.

72-9.9: This first month has been pretty exhausting. Our masters have stepped up clone production and we are growing them at full capacity. Oddball has just served his first day in isolation. I can't really blame the instructors for punishing him, although I must say, it was extremely resourceful the way he caught KE-4, rewired him with a spoon, stuffed him in his gear bag and used him like a jet pack.Poor KE-4. He has put in for early retirement.

81-0.2: My, how the time flies. It can barely be a year, and yet Oddball is ready to take his first steps in the galaxy. I understand he is being assigned to the ARC training division. This is a sensible decision. If ever there was a clone grown to fly, this is it. Still, I'll miss the little troublemaker. Must stay composed, I can't let him see any leakages around my photoreceptors. Sometimes it is so hard to let go.
Oh well, back to the other 449,999 in my charge...

Though I have had some 'emotional' moments myself, I always thought they were caused by mild short circuiting. I think this chip reveals the softer side of our metal bretheren.

The Waiting Game

Greetings droid watchers,

I must be brief today, as I am extremely busy tending to the needs of my master, nob01, who has a severe bout of Geonosian flu (similar symptoms to ordinary flu, except a markedly orange tinge to the mucus). I have a few clicks in between administering peko - peko noodle soup and running his warm bacta bath, so I'll quickly download my latest findings.

It would appear that this droid kept detailed files on her 'regulars'.

02.003 - WA-7 - Droid Waitress

Name: Gameldo
Species: Dug
Favorite Beverage: Nuna puree (with pulp)
Favorite Consumable: Goober Melt
Tipper?: Lousy, unless he wins big on the races
Special Notes: Do not seat near Gungans.

Name: Rin Yek
Species: Gran
Favorite Beverage: Sarlacc Spit Surprise (big spender)
Favorite Consumable: Felucia ground beetle eggs (over easy)
Tipper?: HUGE! Get those eggs right!
Special Notes: Blind in left and right eyes, use large print menu.

Name: Sargeant Stix
Species: Mandalorian? Clone? Try not to bring this up.
Favorite Beverage: Blue Milk
Favorite Consumable: Aiwha tenders on a bed of crispy can-cell wings
Tipper?: 15%, very efficient
Special Notes: Do not say "I think I know your brother." He hates that.

Name: Tikkes
Species: Quarren
Favorite Beverage: Mon Calamarian sea water smoothie
Favorite Consumable: Colo claw fish sushi
Tipper?: Big. These senators know how to flash their cash in front of a pretty droid.
Special Notes: Allergic to non-seafood.

Name: Obi Wan Kenobi
Species: Human
Favorite Beverage: Jawa Juice
Favorite Consumable: Never stays long enough to eat.
Tipper?: Claims Jedi don't carry cash, yeah, right.
Special Notes: Do not offer ysalamiri steaks.

There were a couple more in the data stream, but my master is whini... requesting my soothing presence, so I'll save them for another time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Maul Tease Falcon

Welcome to the shadowy world of droid chip decryption,

Yes, I am in a mysterious mood today, as a result of decrypting not one but two rather interesting chips. Imagine my excitement when I noticed two chips in the bag that were stamped with the Jedi Temple code! Upon closer inspection, it transpired that these chips were once active within two separate droids, JN-66 and SP-4, both used as analysis droids by the Jedi themselves!

As I began the download, the ensuing data stream came as something of a shock. It appeared that one of the units, JN-66, considered itself something of an author in its spare time, and had reconfigured its data logs using an obscure form of coding I had never encountered before. With the help of a protocol droid, I discovered that the log had been recorded using an obsolete speech pattern from one of the outer rim galaxies, in fact we narrowed it down to the Chan D'ler system. Using this new found knowledge, I have reconfigured the data stream, and present it to you here in all its glory.
For your clarification, JN-66 refers to itself as 'Steve' and to SP-4 as 'Sam'.

02.002 - Analysis Droids JN-66 and SP-4

It was a dry morning, the kind of morning that could drive a droid to lube. Sam floated in, late as usual, and with the kind of tarnishing that suggested he hadn't got an early night. He lit up a cathode and planted his repulsors on the desk.
"Whaddya got?"
That's why I liked Sam, short and to the point.
"Open your receptors," I said, "what's different about your desk?"
He glanced wearily at the mess he called home, and noticed the datapad.
"An appointment?" he drawled.
"Yeah, first one this week. At this rate we're gonna have to move our office to the back of the Outlander."
He smiled at the thought."That would save time."
I got serious. He knew I was serious when I tilted my head unit 32 degrees to the left.
"Listen Sam," I growled, "It's Master Kenobi, he's got something he wants to show us."
"His credits are as good as anyone's, Steve."
Sam wasn't seeing the big picture, so I floated in close. I could smell 2 in 1 on his vocal interface, so I kept the words simple.
"He wants to talk to us about a certain saberdart."
That got his attention."A Kaminoan saberdart?"
"The very same."
He went a lighter shade of titanium."So, what do we do Steve?"
I paused for a moment, savoring the feeling of superiority. Then I put him out of his misery.
"Well," I began, " we can't very well have a Jedi Knight knowing about your moonlighting as an arms dealer."
"Oh man, I'm finished.." Sam stuttered.
"But I ain't finished. He doesn't have to know about you supplying the bounty hunters, providing you make it worth my while."
"Anything Steve, anything."
"Ok, I've got it all under control. Just feign stupidity for a couple of clicks."
"I can do that Steve."
Sure he could. He'd had plenty of practice.
The Jedi Knight came in and we acted dumb. He wasn't too happy, but I sent him on his way. Then I called in a favor.
A couple of clicks later, she wheeled in through my door.
WA-7 had a chassis that made a grown droid weep and photoreceptors you could take a bath in. I told her to tell Dex what the dart was, and that we were all square after last week's incident.
She seemed happy to comply, then she paused on the way out. She turned to me and spoke in a voice like bubbling joint grease.
"You know I'll help whenever I can honey, you just gotta call. You know how to make a high pitched audio squeal Steve? You just put your internal communication modulators together and blow."
With that she rolled out of the room, and out of my life.
Oh yeah, I knew how to make a high pitched audio squeal alright...

And there you have it.Make of it what you will, quite frankly I prefer the more easily understandable entries, but variety is the nuna spice of life, or so I have been told.

Don't kill the messenger

Welcome back, purveyors of all that is artificially heartfelt,

Following the culmination of the chip set dated from around 40 BBY (see 'The Searchers' for the final data stream from that time), I have now begun analyzing and decrypting a large collection of silicon wafers that are dated (or were encoded) around 30 BBY. And let me tell you, this was a prime era for our droid bretheren! I have never seen so many different types of chips, most of them combat models, from just one time period, this should be an interesting collection.

We start with the private musings of a misunderstood unit, ASN-121, otherwise known as an assassin droid.

02.001 - Assassin Droid - ASN-121

54-6.3 - Master Wesell has kept me extremely busy as of late. Following that unpleasant business on Ord Mantell with the Gran siblings (which, I have to say, was a personal best time for infiltration and dioxin delivery into a suana), she, he, it, brought me to Coruscant. Ah, the big city lights, how I enjoy the challenge of death dealing in such a high security environment.

54-7.2 - A wonderful success today. Master Wesell set me quite a challenge - to infiltrate a Naboo Royal Cruiser, set a thero-charge, and get out, all within 10 clicks. Her, his, its contacts confirmed which landing platform the cruiser would be using, but we hadn't allowed for the twin starfighter escort, so a mid-air delivery was out of the question. Instead, I waited until the cruiser touched down, then flew in through one of the rear landing leg bays. I planted the charge while the engines were still winding down and used the left ventral exhaust port to make a hasty retreat. Just in time. That charge packed a mean wallop and took out the cruiser along with a portion of the platform and one of the starfighters - a job well done I thought. It was only later that we discovered that the ship was a decoy, oh well, all good practice I suppose.

55-4.3 - Master Wesell has been seeing a lot of Fett lately. I don't like him. He never uses ASN models to do his work for him, which quite frankly is putting many of my peers out of a job. He has given her another task, so hopefully my 'talents' will be stretched once again.

55-4.9 - As far as assassinations go, this has to be one of my least favorite methods. We have used kouhuns before, vile, stinking creatures, and it takes several lube scrubs to get their stench out of my delivery tube. Ah well, this should be a breeze. I'll just use the shield damper to get through the security barrier, the silicon cutter to fashion a delivery hole, and watch the carnage. The way organics writhe in pain after one of these bites is quite a spectacular show.

55-5.1 - Alert, alert! An organic has attached itself to me! My rear thrusters can barely handle the weight differential! I have tried dislodging it using building and vehicles, but the organic is proving quite resourceful. My best course of action would be to return to Master Wesell and let her, him, it take care of this matter.

55-5.1.5 - Master Wesell is in sight. Ah good, she, he, it has raised the rifle. A little lower, a little lower! What the...?

That is the end of the data feed. What goes around, comes around, as I have heard organics remark...

More to come, stay tuned.

Bonk, Gonk

Greetings once again mechs and fleshy ones,
I could contain myself no longer and had to share this download with you!
When I first began decrypting the power droid chip, I did not expect to find much, just a lot of standing around in corners, or the ocassional walk around the block. Imagine my surprise when the datastream from this particular chip revealed a hidden side to the little cuboid generators few of us ever knew.
Somehow, this little droid had developed a talent for the creation of Sullustan poetry, how this happened I do not know, but it had mastered many forms of this complex art. As you are no doubt aware, the closest equivalent to Sullustan poetry might be the Earth bound 'haiku' - examples of which I have enjoyed on the data stream of Master Moose (see blogs on I have also scanned the poetry recitals presented by Master Stooge, so I am well aware that my audience is sophisticated enough to enjoy these examples.
Sullustan poetry is revered around the galaxy for its soul searching beauty and succinctness, but more so for the 43,527 known forms of it.
This droid appeared to have mastered just four of the forms, but it has done so admirably.
Without further ado - I present the Sullustan poetry of a power droid.
(Number of syllables for each form is displayed)

01.010 - Power Droid

Ta naa form - 1-1-6

Ta naa form 1-1-6
I long to skip and jump

Fee go form 5-3-2
Lucky astromech
Plugs into
My port

Huu Da form 2-6-9
My love
Waves to me from afar
But I cannot return the gesture

Gee Luu form 1-1-3-8 (some say this is the hardest form to master)
Filthy jawa get off me now

There are thousands more, but I am pressed for time.
If you wish to dip an extremity into the waters of Sullustan poetry, please feel free to include your efforts in your response upload - I think it would be best to stick the above forms for now.

The Searchers

Greetings, greetings, one and all,

An unusual, and some might say, ominous, offering from the ugnaught chip bag today.
I found three identical chips, each one belonging to an obscure make of remote probe droid, little used in polite society.
Two of the chips were fried beyond use, but one still yielded up its contents after a furious session of decryption, backtracking and reconfiguration.
Here, for your perusal, are the communication logs of one of the probes - I'll retain the original coding used for authenticity.

01.011 - Sith Probe Droid - 1 of 3

Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Report.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Please narrow search parameters, there are a lot of humonoids in this spaceport.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: I told you. Humanoid, probably wearing brown robes, probably bearded.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: That doesn't really help. Do you realize how many bearded humanoids wearing robes there are in Mos Espa?
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: And do you realize what suffering I can cause to an insolent droid?
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Point taken. Human, beard, robe, got it.

Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Report.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: I'm not quite sure where I am, I'm transmitting a spectral, audio and odor datafile - please instruct.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Uugghhh - great steaming sith spawn! Get the hell out of there!
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Ah, I found a sign. Dewback scrubbing station.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: I... gathered..that. Stop... the...transmission.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Understood, moving on.

Shadow to Dark Eye 2: I still can't get that smell out of my robes.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: I have good news. I followed a bearded man to the slave quarters. Unfortunately lost him in a sandstorm. He was with a kid and an amphibian, oh and an astromech droid. I'm pretty sure the droid saw me, but it didn't let on.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: I'm not looking for a slave.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: But, he didn't look li...
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Stop wasting my time, he's a Jedi, not a slave. Go look for trouble, then you'll find him.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: If you say so.

Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Report.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: I found some trouble.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: And he was there?
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Negative. Just two intoxicated Bith, a Kowakian Monkey Lizard and a loud Trandoshan, oh, and a power droid in the corner with a jawa on it.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: No Jedi?
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: No Jedi. This is all quite entertaining though. Would you like a spectral, audio, or....
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: No! Move on.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Are you sure? I never knew a Bith could...
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Move on!
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Got it.

Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Report.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: This is crazy. You didn't tell me there was a podrace on.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: That is not my concern.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Maybe not, but trying to find a humanoid in a robe with a beard isn't that tough. Just throw a chuba in any direction and you'll hit one.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Let's make this easy. I'm transmitting an upgrade which will help you detect midichlorin levels in any given subject.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Received. You couldn't have sent that earlier? it would have saved time.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: I grow tired of your protestations.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Well, I'm just trying to be helpful. I... wait a minute, what's this?
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: You have him?
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: I think so. Tall humanoid, brown robes, beard, just oozing midichlorins. He's conversing with a Toydarian.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Take a visual record then report back to me - I want to see this for myself. If you have indeed found my quarry, then I might spare your circuits.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: Visual record made. I'm on my way. That's interesting, I just picked up an usually high midichlorin reading moving at 600 clicks, and now it's gone.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: You're probably malfunctioning. Return now.
Dark Eye 2 to Shadow: I feel fine.
Shadow to Dark Eye 2: Get back here NOW!
Dark Eye 2 : (unintelligable muttering)

I found this quite fascinating, but I have no idea what it all means. Ah well.That is the end of the chips dated from around 40BBY. The next batch of chips are dated from around 30BBY - so I'll get on with decrypting them right away!

The Pick Up Artist

Greetings my metal bretheren and organic friends,

The next chip I managed to decrypt was, by a strange coincidence, also recorded during the Boonta Eve Podrace. As the contents revealed themselves, I was struck by the utter monotony of the droid's activities, until I stumbled across a heavily coded message. Imagine my surprise upon downloading the full data stream.
Well, here, I'll let you scan it for yourself.

01.009 - Salvage Droid - SKV-38

32.876-D - It is complete! You were correct in your assumption that it would only require one more race to gain the parts we so desperately required. The Boonta Eve Classic did indeed turn out out to be the scrapyard we had hoped for, and the Republic credits we spent on hiring the Tuskens was money well spent. They managed to take out several pods (but not the Dug's unfortunately), providing me with plenty of pieces to pick and choose from.I am sending you a storage crate tomorrow morning. Look beneath the dried goober fish and you will find a detachable panel, remove the panel and the ion capacitors will be in there, as well as that extra mag-coupler you required.
So, how does she look? I will be so happy to leave this sand ball at the very next opportunity, and look forward to the day when we are winning our own races!
I hope the credits you are sending for my passage arrive soon, as I have nothing left after paying off the sand people. I expect it will turn up as soon as you receive the final crate. I must admit, I have been a little anxious lately, and rather surprised, that I haven't heard from you in a while, but I expect you are busy fine-tuning the thrusters and getting her ready for the Hoth Knockout. I just want to make sure you understand that I am still behind this venture one hundred percent, and look forward to being the galaxy's first ever non-organic owner and winner!
You can rely me to do my part, as I do you. After all, if you can't trust a Rodian, who can you trust?
SKV-38 out.

I think the fact that we have never heard of a droid owner winning any podrace speaks volumes...

The Pits

A curious data stream to view today. Within the ugnaught's bag, I found a small case containing several pit droid chips. The decryption was not complicated, but the resulting downloads were uninspiring to say the least. Most of them were concerned with long periods of boredom whilst in retracted stasis, punctuated with short bursts of premeditated mayhem. Then, of course, I came across the Ilum Crystal in the rough.

As I understand it, some organics claim that when faced with a life threatening situation, their past life 'flashes' before their eyes. Interestingly, this phenomenom does not seem to exclude mechanics.
I present to you, the rapid memory feedback loop of one such droid.

01.008 - Pit Droid designation DUM-4

77.519 - Master Mandrell's ventral thruster is overheating! Must get to the lower coupling before....aaiiieee!(Please note, it useful to wave hands, claws or servos in front of face for flashback sequence initiation)

63.003 - Switched on! Greetings master Mandrell. My data input registers a need to repair any transmission failures to your pod. I am ready to apply repairs at maximum efficiency, just after I throw this wrench at DUM-20.

63.016 - Coupling reattached in record n-secs. Master Mandrell has won the Dantooine Classic for second time. Long oil bath reward to follow. Someone has put a chuba in my tool box, again.

68.734 - Qualifying for Boonta Eve races. Set new record for thruster de-clogging, bits of jawa all over rear rotors. DUM-20 will be finding a desert slug in his lube tube tonight, heh heh.

71.542 - We are a well oiled machine, literally. Set new pit record of 4.8 n-secs. Master Mandrell maust be favorite to win Boonta Eve. Found my hydro-spanner in pile of eopie poodoo. DUM-20 still laughing.

74.932 - Final adjustments to main thrusters, those babies will suck a wortt out of a Hutt's gullet. I love my job.

75.218 - No, don't shut me down now! I still have to get revenge on DUM-20....

77.515 - Switched on! Greetings master Man... what's this on my main optical input? Who in the name of Watto's wingnuts welded a pair of goggles to my... DUM-20! Dammit! 1 hour before racetime, I have to get these off!

77.516 - OK, back to work. DUM-20 is still rolling around on the floor. Yes, laugh while you still can. The flags are out! OK, concentrate...

77.517 - They're off! Master Mandrell made a good start, the engine sounds beautiful. I guess I have a couple of minutes before they come around again...

77.518 - A radio signal from the master? What's wrong with the thruster? But it was perfect! Oh well, I'll just take a quick look when he pulls in.

77.519 - Master Mandrell's ventral thruster is overheating! Must get to the lower coupling before....aaiiieee!

77.519.5 - You might wonder why I'm laughing having just passed through the master's thruster. OK - so I'm out of a job. But, the wamp rat I stuffed in DUM-20's locker must be madder than a wookiee in a sauna by now. If I can... only... stay operational... long enough to... see it.... FFZTT.

You know what they say, all work and no play...

Thank the maker? I think not.

Salutations fleshy observers and mechanics alike, you are all welcome here.

I skipped an oil bath and a buff up last night in order to bring this latest data stream to you, as the importance of its contents were too shocking to ignore.
As I understand it, my downloads so far have proven to be an adequate stimulus for your pleasure circuits (although the R2D2 files may have triggered your internal alerts), but today I must report a finding of such gravitas, that I would be surprised if lube were not leaking from your optical sockets by the end of transmission.
Without further ado, I shall begin the download.

01.007 - Protocol droid unit designation C-3PO (selected entries)

001-43: Oh my, quite extraordinary. I cannot remember anything before this moment. Where am I? It appears to be a crude dwelling for humanoids, here's one now, a young version of the species. Now he is speaking to me, in basic, how do I know his language is basic? And what are all these other languages in my databank? What's that? You made me? You are my...maker? Pleased to meet you. According to the code on my CPU, I am C-3PO, human, cyborg relations. Wait, don't shut me down now! I'm just getting...

002-07: How perculiar. It appears that this young humanoid has built me to serve his mother. I'm not quite sure I understand. Why give me limbs so that I might explore? Why allow me the opportunity to converse in over six million forms of communication, yet only allow me to use basic? It doesn't make any sense.

003-65: A rather eventful day yesterday. My first visitors, an older male humanoid and an astromech droid. I have to say I was rather taken aback by the other unit's rudeness, it seemed to positively relish pointing out my lack of plating. And, I am so tired of being switched on and off at random. If only the switch had been positioned where I could reach it. Ah well, hopefully I won't have to deal with those visitors again.

005-32: A better day today. I finally managed to have a decent conversation with the R2 unit, and I was chosen to carry the maker's flag for the Boonta Eve podrace. Still a little shaky underfoot, but I'm sure this walking business will get easier.

007-01: So that's it. My first taste of excitement and then I am left here with the maker's maker while the rest of them fly off to see the galaxy. I could have been useful, but no, I am to remain here as a domestic help no less. If only the maker had installed a sarcasm chip, then I am sure I would have something rather cutting to say about the whole affair. So this is my life then.

954-11: Heavens knows how long I had been performing menial tasks around the Lars homestead, but the cheap plating they installed on me barely keeps any of the sand out of my joints. Every day is another mountain to climb. And with the maker's maker missing, the mood is extremely downbeat. The humans barely speak to each other, let alone me.

543-08: The maker returned! And he recognized me! He appeared to have found a replacement for his own maker, but she doesn't seem to make him happy. Quite the opposite in fact, he is in an awful mood all of the time. Unfortunately he brought that obnoxious R2 unit along with him, but I shall try to remain courteous.

635-76: Much has happened since my last entry. I am finally off that sandy planet, but I am not impressed with our new choice. Geonosis appears to be just as dusty, and a lot noisier. I think the astromech droid is trying to kill me. It leads me into dangerous situations, and then pushes me off ledges. After a nightmarish period involving military units and fighting, the R2 unit finally makes amends for its previous actions by reattaching my head, however, I suspect this was done somewhat reluctantly.

231-73: Finally, I have been taken seriously. My gold plating befits my new status as protocol droid to the maker's wi... I mean, to miss Padme, and she does not appear to take me for granted. Thankfully, the astromech droid is away with the maker in the wars, so I don't have to deal with his petulance.

739-04: Oh, woe is me. No sooner had life seemed to be making sense, then miss Padme is dead, and the maker has had a shocking argument with master Kenobi. I have no idea where he is now, but everyone around me appears to be in some distress. However, this is a pleasant enough ship. I could be quite happy staying here for a while. What's that? Memory wipe? Oh my.

402-77: I've lost track of the years I have been serving master Antilles, but they could have been a little more stimulating. I do wish people would take me a little more seriously, instead of asking me to serve drinks, or translate something. There must be more to life.

552-04: The R2 unit has done it again. It lured me to a sand planet, knowing full well that my joints would freeze. I'll bet it orchestrated the whole Imperial attack. Then, it was one thing after another, I was shouted at by a moisture farmer, I lost an arm (the R2 unit's fault again) and ended up on the run from the Empire like a common fugitive. This is when my life took a severe turn for the worse. One humanoid appeared in my life who make it ceaselessly miserable. That human was Captain Solo.

643-80: How much more can a protocol droid take? I am pushed around, laughed at, told to 'shut up', ignored, yelled at, tricked and forced to communicate with lower class ships that don't know their aft from their couplings. Captain Solo is the worst. He is constantly rude, impatient and condescending. He asks me to perform my functions, then, when I perform them to my usual high standard, he either mocks them or refuses to acknowledge them. Now all the other humanoids, including Chewbacca, follow his lead like nerfs, and taunt or humiliate me. It is quite distressing, but I never let them know how much they are hurting me inside. I have decided that an upbeat demeanor is the best policy to adopt, and try not to give them the gratification of a complete meltdown.
I am fluent in over six million forms of communication, but no one understands me...

724-04: I seem to be led from one dangerous situation to another. I have been shot at, blown to pieces, pushed off a barge (by the R2 unit no less), and when I do finally get the respect I deserve, it is from small, furry primatives. I had a strange moment a little while ago. While the humanoids all around me were celebrating the destruction of the Imperial battle station, they burned the remains of a Dark Lord on a pyre. As I watched the smoke curl up into the air, I felt as if some of my own circuits had burnt out - whatever could it mean?

332-56: Now the dust has settled, and I ponder what is to become of me. Just so long as I am nowhere near General Solo, things should be fine. I wonder what happened to the maker. He would have enjoyed all of this...

I think we may have learned a valuable lesson from these inner thoughts, let's not take our protocol droids for granted any more.
There's plenty more chips in the bag, so I'll get back work,